Patience – This has been the hardest thing to learn and even harder to maintain. As my son has grown the challenges have changed. Gage’s brain injury changed the way his brain processes information. It doesn’t function the way ‘normal’ people’s brains do. Gage left the hospital with low coping skills, sensory integration issues, and problems communicating. As a young child he would often have lots of outburst but because he couldn’t communicate it was a guessing game to figure out what the cause was. It took my family and I months to realize that the sound of paper tearing terrified him and would make him to scream. As he got older I couldn’t even take him down the Halloween costume isles at the stores because it was all too overwhelming for him.
As a teenager we are now dealing with hormones & teenage attitude which is a whole new circle of hell. There are days when he will have hour long rage-fests and I end my day physically and mentally wiped out. Only to turn around and do it again the next day. Every day I practice taking DEEP breaths and walking away until things calm down. Being a parent is hard enough, but having a special needs child requires levels of patience you didn’t even know you possessed.